The names of eight people killed in a Plano, Texas, home on Sunday night during a Dallas Cowboys Sunday Night Football watch party were made public by Plano Police on Tuesday as reports continue to surface placing an abusive relationship between alleged shooter Spencer Hight, 32, and his estranged wife Meredith Lane, 27, at the root of the massacre — a relationship that had already seen Hight physically attack his wife on at least two occasions, according to her mother, Debbie Lane.
The couple is pictured above on this page.
Meredith Lane was one of Hight's nine victims in the attack, all but one of them wounded fatally with the final victim remaining in the hospital as of Tuesday. Hight himself was shot dead by a heroic Plano police officer who stormed the house unaccompanied when he arrived responding to a "weapons call." The officer heard gunfire from inside the home at 1712 West Spring Creek Parkway in Plano, according to a report by KTVT in Dallas, and immediately charged into the home.
In addition to Meredith Lane, the names of the slain victims, two other women and five men, as released by Plano Police on Tuesday, are Anthony Michael Cross, 33; Olivia Nicole Deffner, 24; James Richard Dunlop, 29; Darryl William Hawkins, 22; Rion Christopher Morgan, 31; Myah Sade Bass, 28; and Caleb Seth Edwards, 25.
In an interview with KTVT, Debbie Lane told the station on Tuesday that her daughter had only recently revealed Spencer Hight's abusive and violent behavior toward her, saying that Hight physically attacked Meredith on at least two occasions that she knew of.
"I know the first time, he smashed her head into a wall in the bedroom, and broke her glasses and bruised her face," Debbie Lane revealed. "And the second time was when he struck her with the flat of his hand on her head."
Watch the KTVT video report on the couple's troubled relationship below. Married on September 11, 2011, the couple split up in March and Meredith Lane had recently filed for divorce, due not only to her husband's violent abuse, but his alcoholism as well, according to the murdered woman's mother — a condition that the young wife did all she could to help her husband overcome.
"After two years of trying to get him in treatment, trying to get him to stop, trying to help him… she said, enough is enough. She made every effort she could… and could leave that relationship with no regrets," the mother said.
The massacre began, according to witnesses, at around 8 p.m., after the football watch party had been going on all day starting with a televised Atlanta Falcons game earlier. Meredith Lane was a native of Georgia and therefore a Falcons fan.
But at that time, Spencer Hight showed up at the home, armed. Hight and his estranged wife began arguing and Hight quickly started shooting. According to the police account, Hight was still firing his weapon when the lone police officer burst into the house, confronted him, and shot him dead.
Debbie Lane described her daughter as an enthusiastic and talented cook who enjoyed hosting friendly gatherings at her home, and that Sunday's football watch party had been her first opportunity to do so since splitting with Spencer Hight, "and he didn't take it well," she said.
[Featured Image by Meredith Hight/Instagram]